Mobile app publishers face the constant challenge of driving feature adoption in an increasingly competitive market. Meanwhile, the number of abandoned apps in app stores climbed another 6% in 2022.
Beyond growing competition, key roadblocks to mobile app feature adoption include lack of user engagement, limited resources, data privacy regulatory compliance, and changing user behaviors.
One effective solution for these challenges is to leverage the power of email and push notifications as communication channels with users. Below, we’ll explore how you can best implement these channels to both drive feature adoption and reduce costs.
The power of email and push notifications for mobile app publishers
Driving feature adoption
Effective communication is vital in the world of mobile app development and maintenance. Unlike other communication methods that may get lost in the noise of the digital world, email and push notifications allow app publishers to directly grab users’ attention.
Email and push notifications enable you to communicate important updates, new features, and promotions directly to users' inboxes or device screens — they provide an opportunity to engage with users proactively and encourage them to take action. This makes them highly effective for driving feature adoption and reducing costs in mobile app management.
If you are a savings app, for example, you might use email and push notifications to notify users about a new savings feature, offer exclusive discounts or promotions, or provide personalized recommendations based on users' financial goals and behaviors. You might send a personalized email to users with information about a new investment feature, explaining its benefits and providing a clear call-to-action (CTA) to try it out.
Push notifications sent to users who have opted in might remind them to check out the new feature and offer an incentive, such as a cashback reward, for trying it out. Such strategies can result in a significant increase in feature adoption and user engagement.
Robinhood’s “Educational Content” campaign, for one, included regular emails and push notifications that provided users with educational articles, videos, and webinars on investing and trading. The messages aimed to educate users about different features of Robinhood's app, such as stock trading, options, and cryptocurrencies, and empower them to make informed investment decisions. This campaign resulted in improved user engagement, increased adoption of Robinhood's features, and reduced customer support costs.
In addition to driving feature adoption, email and push notifications can also help mobile app publishers reduce costs in various ways, below.
Providing proactive support through email and push notifications can reduce the volume of incoming customer support inquiries. For example, you can send a push notification to users with instructions on how to use a new feature or troubleshoot a common issue. This can help users resolve problems on their own, reducing the need to contact customer support and saving time and resources for the publisher.
Providing support through self-service options such as email and push notifications can help reduce customer service costs by up to 60%. – Forrester
Retaining existing users is often more cost-effective than acquiring new users. Email and push notifications can play a critical role in keeping users engaged and retained. By sending personalized messages that provide value and relevance, you can nurture their relationship with users, keeping them informed about updates, promotions, and new features. This can help prevent churn and reduce the costs associated with acquiring new users to replace lost ones.
According to Prismetric, sending push notifications can increase retention rates for new users in the first week after downloading an app by 71% over two months. In fact, sending push notifications enhances app retention rates by 3-10X.
Marketing and promotion
Email and push notifications can be used as cost-effective marketing channels to promote new features, promotions, and other app-related events. Instead of relying solely on paid advertising or other costly marketing methods, leverage your existing user base and communicate directly through email and push notifications.
You can also use email and push notifications to promote cross-selling or upselling of features to existing users, maximizing revenue potential without incurring additional acquisition costs. All of these methods can result in higher conversion rates and lower overall marketing costs.
With email marketing, for every $1 marketers spend, they receive $36 in return. - Litmus
App updates and maintenance
Keeping users informed about app updates and maintenance schedules is essential for a smooth user experience. Use email and push notifications to communicate important updates and maintenance information, reducing the number of support tickets or negative user reviews due to confusion or frustration caused by app downtime or glitches. This can help you save on potential costs associated with app downtime or loss of users due to poor user experience.
User feedback and surveys
Gathering user feedback and insights is crucial for improving app features and functionalities. Invite users to provide feedback or participate in surveys via email and push notifications. This way, you can collect valuable feedback and insights from their user base without incurring additional costs associated with third-party survey tools or market research.
Best practices for using email and push notifications to boost feature adoption and optimize costs
To drive feature adoption and optimize costs with email and push notifications, follow these strategic best practices:
Ensure that users have explicitly opted-in to receive email and push notifications. This can help ensure that the messages are relevant and well-received by the users, reducing the risk of being marked as spam or being ignored. Additionally, make it easy for users to opt out of receiving notifications if they choose to do so, respecting their preferences and privacy.
Segmentation and personalization
Personalization is key, as generic messages are likely to be ignored. By segmenting the user base and tailoring messages based on user preferences, behaviors, and needs, you can ensure that messages are relevant and valuable to the users. Personalized messages are more likely to be opened, read, and acted upon, resulting in higher engagement and better cost optimization.
According to Accenture, 68% of people in the United States base their decision on whether to open an email based on the “from” name. Using someone's actual name in the subject line increases email open rates by 26%. 50% of companies say they increase customer engagement through email personalization.
Relevant, valuable content
Compelling content is crucial in driving feature adoption through email and push notifications. Messages should be concise, and engaging, and highlight the value proposition of the new feature. Using visual elements, such as images or videos, can make the messages more eye-catching and impactful.
Including clear CTAs that prompt users to take action, such as "Try Now" or "Learn More," can also help drive user engagement and adoption of the new feature. (Push notifications with CTA buttons in them deliver 40-60% better results).
Timing and frequency
Timing and frequency of email and push notifications are important considerations. Avoid bombarding users with too many messages, as it can lead to user fatigue and decreased engagement. Instead, consider the time zones, user behaviors, and preferences when scheduling notifications.
Finding the right balance between being informative and not overwhelming is crucial. A well-planned communication calendar can help ensure messages are sent at appropriate times, such as during peak usage hours or based on users' preferred time zones. In addition, consider employing email and push notifications to create a sense of urgency around the features, such as limited-time offers or exclusive access.
Sending notifications at the optimal time can lead to higher open rates, click-through rates, and overall engagement, resulting in better cost optimization.
The frequency of push notifications is inversely proportional to their opening rate. Businesses must not send anything more than five push notifications in a day, which too is subject to the nature of your industry. For instance, two push notifications in a day are the peak for industries like eCommerce and media and publishing. – MoEngage
A/B testing is a powerful technique to optimize the effectiveness of email and push notifications. Conduct A/B tests to test different message formats, content, timing, and CTAs to identify the most effective communication strategies. This can help refine the communication approach, resulting in better performance and cost optimization. In fact, Airship found that A/B testing while sending push notifications can boost the opening rate by 56%.
Monitoring and analysis
Monitoring and analyzing the performance of email and push notifications is crucial for cost optimization. Regularly review and analyze metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and user feedback to identify areas of improvement and optimize communication strategies accordingly. This data-driven approach can help reduce costs and improve the effectiveness of email and push notifications.
Testing different channels
Of course, email and push notifications are not the only communication channels available. Testing and leveraging other channels, such as in-app messaging, SMS, or social media, can also be effective in reaching users and reducing costs. It's important to test and optimize different channels to identify the most effective communication strategies for your specific user base.
Two-thirds of shoppers use more than one channel. - Wharton School of Business
At Zendrive, we enable partnering apps with a Publisher Playbook for our Insurance Qualification Lens (IQL) solution. The Playbook offers guidance on how to promote and communicate IQL test drive programs across multiple channels, including email and push notifications. It also provides best practices for timing, frequency, and creating valuable content.
Compliance with app store guidelines and privacy regulations
Ensure that your email and push notification strategies comply with the app store guidelines and privacy regulations, such as GDPR and CCPA. This includes obtaining proper user consent, protecting user data, and providing opt-out options. Compliance with these regulations is not only essential for ethical and legal reasons but also for building trust and maintaining a positive relationship with users.
Moving forward with the right strategies
Email and push notifications are powerful communication channels that can help mobile app publishers drive feature adoption, improve user engagement, reduce costs, and optimize app performance.
By following best practices, such as obtaining user consent, personalizing messages, A/B testing, and monitoring performance, you can effectively communicate with your users in a relevant, timely, and valuable manner. At the same time, providing proactive support, nurturing user relationships, promoting app updates, gathering user feedback, and complying with app store guidelines and privacy regulations allow you to harness the power of email and push notifications to drive user satisfaction, retention, and revenue growth.
With the right approach and best practices, these channels can be valuable tools in your app management toolkit, helping you build a loyal user base, drive app engagement, and achieve business success.
Learn more about how you can partner with Zendrive to easily implement and effectively communicate IQL test drive programs to your users to help them save big on auto insurance.